Progression happens in steps and in waves.
As you continue to improve your fitness and exceed prior expectations, the journey towards improved gains and better performance will need to take a more precise route.
Yet while periodization schemes, supersets, drop-sets, and HIIT sprints will all be useful allies in your physique journey, more work will need to be done to ensure your fitness doesn’t succumb to distracting gimmicks.
Progression can only happen when you continue to progress.
Without continuously breaking past your limits and breaking through the sea of quick fixes, short term programs, or silly distractions, making training a success will be close to impossible.
It takes a keen mind to see past the short term tactics that are constantly bombarded onto us without falling victim to these seemingly harmless traps.
However by using these three filters you can keep your mind focused on longevity in your training career and succeed in your fitness journey.
Make strength and conditioning the core focus of your training.
Although there’s an abundance of fitness knowledge which pervades our world and gyms, continued success in your fitness will lie largely upon the amount of time you invest in using a properly designed strength and conditioning program.
This may seem obvious, the Information Age has made fitness available to everyone from each corner of the world.
While this has made our societies into a healthier and happier species, it’s also contributed to a new phenomenon called overwhelm.
Overwhelm as defined by Oxford as a verb is a feeling of “bury or drown beneath a huge mass.”
A bit dramatic, but this definition sums up how so many people feel in their fitness and health as they struggle to move past the oceans of information that drowns our world with more and more information.
Without a filter which can differentiate between nonsensical information and expert advice, moving towards improved levels of fitness can become increasingly more difficult.
The same way companies like Google use filters to separate which information is based on science and evidence while discarding information that can be misleading or misinformative, we need to take responsibility for the information that enters our minds.
So how do you overcome overwhelm?
Questioning has been long proven to be an effective tool to guard against external and internal obstacles that can block our path.
This same tool can be used to help guard against the feeling of overwhelm.
Use these two questions as a guiding principle in your quest for excellence and clarity:
1. Where did this source/information come from?
2. Is this source backed up by at least 3 years of experience and/or results?
By using curiosity and questions to guide your thought processes, you’ll begin to find that many of the popular fitness sources that are prevalent in our world, no longer seem as appealing when their sources become revealed.
Not only will this help clear confusion and doubt regarding your fitness, your results will also start to improve as you start to absorb information from expert sources which are based on evidence-based work.
Seek mentorship from real experts.
Nowadays, the rise of mentorship and fitness coaching is increasing more each day.
Anyone with a phone and a weekend certification can claim to be a fitness expert or a nutrition guru.
Yet when the dust settles and rambunctious Instagram stories fade, the cream of the crop always rises to the top.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
This quote above sums up the essence of true mentorship and expertise.
It’s not enough to have knowledge about fitness or nutrition.
Expertise comes only from experience and applied practice. Nothing else can substitute for real time helping real people.
Although the IG fit-models may promise lean 6-packs or toned arms, the truth is without experience real lasting change becomes a frivolous idea.
Using the questioning process from the prior principle can be a valuable ally in helping you clarify which people are true mentors and the people who are just blowing stream.
Another useful tool to help keep your vision clear when seeking a mentor is by looking for testimonials or results written by others who have experienced this mentor’s help.
The coaching industry is becoming more saturated each day.
However this may not be a bad thing.
While everyone else is fighting for the same clients to serve and shouting over each other in an increasingly overcrowded marketplace, the real experts are making lasting impacts in their communities by focusing on serving people with true expertise and style.
To recap - seek mentorship from the right mentors who have a proven-track record of success.
Remember, the right teacher can save you years of headache and frustration when approached with an open mind and warm personality.
Seek mentorship and your fitness will reach new levels of growth.
Structure your fitness like your job.
When it comes to fitness, many people find it easier to delegate it as an afterthought rather than as a priority.
Yet the mistake that happens with this is without the proper foundation for structured training, seeing long-term results in your physique and fitness will be hard to achieve.
Rather approach your workouts as a structured routine similar to your work or job.
There is no right way to plan your workouts but there is a right way that works for you.
Instead of focusing on the best time to workout and the right training length of a weight lifting workout, a better method is learning and implementing the best time to train in your schedule.
For some people, this may be early mornings.
Others may find it more useful to train in the evenings.
Midday workouts are also becoming increasingly more popular especially with office workers who find it hard to stay late or come in early but have longer lunch breaks.
The key to creating your workout schedule is choosing a time that works best for you and then committing to your time block to the best of your abilities.
Nothing else can substitute for consistent hard-work - especially when the results begin to compound noticeably after years and years of training.
Let these filters guide your progress and higher levels of fitness will always be within your grasp.
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References and Further Reading